We’re checking in with Jason LaPres this week to learn what is so gosh-darn special about the HAPS Regional Conferences. Jason is our Southern Regional Director, as well as an attendee and/or committee member at a few of our Regionals.
“The Regional Conferences are a little more intimate than the Annual Conference. Usually just over a weekend, they are a little more low-key. Most people are close enough to drive and a lot know each other before reaching the conference. There are fewer vendors, only 1 or 2 update lectures, but most of the focus is usually on the workshops.”
Uh…gee, Jason, that sounds somewhat “less” than the Annual Conference.
“Heck, no, Tom. It’s just different. As I said, the Regional Conferences tend to be more intimate than the Annuals. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Annual Conferences. The night and day energy at those is incredible. Meeting so many new people and experiencing so many new things is absolutely breath-taking. But, what makes the Regional Conferences a jewel is their focus.”
“See, each Regional Conference tends to develop a bit of a theme for itself. We’ve had Regional Conferences that were built around cadaver dissection, around online courses, around high school educators, the list goes on. The Annual Conference is a chance to explore a whole bunch of – SQUIRREL!
“Sorry, lost my train of thought. Oh yeah, the Regional Conferences are a great way to really roll your sleeves up and immerse yourself into a tight group of educators who are just as passionate as you. We have an Eastern Regional Conference in Springfield, Massachusetts on March 15 of this year. I’ve spoken to a number of people are very excited to attend that one.”
Are there other Regional Conferences in the works?
“Yes, Murray Jensen is working on a Central Regional Conference for October of this year. We’ve had proposals from a number of other HAPSters who want to host a Regional Conference in their neck of the woods. Hosting a Regional Conference is a great way to see if your location could serve as a future site for an Annual Conference. For more information on hosting a Regional Conference, feel free to contact Ellen Lathrop-Davis, Chair of the Conference Committee or check out their committee’s web page.
Thanks, Jason. That gives me a lot to think about. I’m going to check out the Regional Conference web page and think about attending.